Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Baylor Makes Itself at Home at AT&T Stadium Practice

Photo By: © Baylor University 2014

Baylor returned to its home away from home Saturday, going through its first AT&T Stadium practice for the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

The Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12), who have played in AT&T Stadium five consecutive seasons, worked for one hour and 45 minutes in preparation for their game Friday against Michigan State (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten).

Head Coach Art Briles said the team’s energy was “pretty good.”

“I thought our focus was good,” Briles said. “And that’s really the critical thing this time of year, just making sure everybody’s intentions are what they need to be and that’s being the best they can be and helping us win this football game.”

Winning is something the coaches and players are used to doing at AT&T Stadium. Baylor has played Texas Tech five consecutive seasons at this venue, winning the last four. The most recent meeting was Nov. 29 when the Bears escaped 48-46.

Returning on Saturday, the players acclimated quickly to the surroundings, Briles said. Also, Baylor has been assigned the same locker room it used for the Texas Tech game last month.

The stadium’s synthetic turf is the same as the surface at Baylor’s home field, so they don’t have to worry about trying different shoes for this game.

“It always gives you the wow factor regardless of how many times (coming into AT&T Stadium),” Briles said. “I guess if you walked into it every day, you realize you’re walking into the best football facility in America on a professional level. We’re fortunate to play in what we feel like is the greatest collegiate football stadium in America, McLane Stadium on the Baylor campus.”

The session was closed to the public except for a few dozen guests, primarily high school football coaches.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl celebrates its 79th edition on New Year's Day and kicks off a new era as a member of the College Football Playoff. Airtime on ESPN is set for 11:30 a.m. CST with kickoff slated for 11:45 a.m. For the first year, the Classic joins ESPN’s bowl lineup with Dave Pasch and Brian Griese on the call from the booth with Tom Luginbill reporting from the sideline.

For the third consecutive year, ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Kelly Stoufer in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons from the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This will be Sham's 18th straight year as the Classic's play-by-play man and his 22nd overall.

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